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Thread: First range day for a stalker - please help

  1. #1

    First range day for a stalker - please help

    My FAC for all of my rifles was granted for stalking or vermin control with no mention of ranges or target shooting. I had assumed that I couldn't use my 0.308 (or my rimfires) on a range as a result of this but I have recently read the Home Office guidelines to discover that FAC holders can use ranges to zero or test ammunition in reasonable quantities.

    I have three different types of 0.308 factory ammo that I'd like to trial against each other, ideally at 100m, 200m and 300m, before I start hitting the deer hard both down here and in Scotland. This might be basic stuff but I cannot seem to find a comprehensive guide to what a stalker needs to do to get onto a range legally for a couple of hours. Do I need to be a NRA member or affiliate club member or are there open days at somewhere like Bisley or somewhere smaller? Do I need to be range certified? Do I just show up at a range and start asking questions?!

    I'm just Northeast of Winchester if anyone has any hassle free range ideas. Any help greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Talk to the guys at British Sporting Rifle Club Bisley - It's a great club & great for zero / testing & there is a wealth of advice etc to gain there.


  3. #3

    Range days

    Our range in Lincoln, would allow you to become a member straight away because you are a FAC holder, you would have to serve a probation period and undergo supervision to ensure you are familiar with range safety/etiquete. We are limited to 75 meters, but are affiliated with other ranges that offer longer target distances but fairly infrequently.
    Try doing a google search in your area for long range clubs.

    Good Luck

    Last edited by Jimboblincs2; 14-09-2012 at 19:17. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    If you are a member of BASC i believe you can book a range at Bisley through them. I would be interested to know how you get on.

  5. #5
    you should have for zeroing on ranges or land deemed suitable get it put on your ticket target shooting ie comps you will have to join a target club

  6. #6
    Before you can shoot on ANY MOD range, including Bisley, you are going to need a SSC - (Safe Shooters certificate) - you can get one from BASC, NRA, BDS etc, but it is going to involve an assessment. Alternatively you can get one from becoming a member of a HO approved shooting club.


  7. #7
    Also, bear in mind that you are unable to use expanding ammunition on ranges - in most cases. So any loads you use will have to FMJ or lead ball (.22LR); which may defeat your purpose.
    I agree with Lister that it should be on your ticket already; remember you commit an offence when you breach the conditions of your FAC, am sure your FIO will sort that out - it seems a glaring oversight.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  8. #8
    Although I only have a 100m range I'm sure I can help and advise, and I'd rather you use expanding ammunition!

    Come and visit us for a Blaser or Mauser fitting, get the right rifle for your needs.

  9. #9
    Thank you all very much.

    Mike, I know that you are right on getting a SSC for a MOD range so I'll need to do that somehow. My worry is that becoming a member of a shooting club makes me at least a part-time target shooter in the eyes of the law and I am wary of changing my ticket when I really only have the rifle for stalking. Anything else that I do would be to support that and I know that the Police can be more stringent with target shooters. I'd also want to use expanding rounds (i.e. the ones that I would actually be using for stalking) which I think is harder/illegal? on ranges unless zeroing and if you're zeroing, you're not target shooting! Slightly circular argument I've got myself into there...

    Hants - I've dropped my BASC membership to join the CLA this year (as I normally only use them for insurance, I went for the special offer half-price membership) which may have been an error now I'm looking into this!

    Lister, I have "zeroing on ranges or land deemed suitable..." which is good. When my previous FAO came to talk to me, I asked him what could be defined as zeroing and he said that they would frown upon more than 5 shots...! Yes, you can zero a rifle in on that if all goes to plan but you can't exactly triple check! It was only when I stumbled across the Home Office Firearms Law: Guidance to the Police document that I realised he had probably not thought about some aspects of it.

    Jim, thank you. I've done a bit of Googling and most of my local clubs are based at Bisley and Ian has recommended a club too.

    Ian, thank you too - this looks like a great bet if I do go down the club route.

    Perhaps I've slipped through the net somewhere but in the last ten years, I haven't come across a nationwide structure openly available to stalkers who wish to zero/check/improve with say 50-100 rounds a year and I don't know any stalkers personally who are also serious target shooters.

    I'll keep you all updated whether I do or don't find an answer but I am very hopeful that there is one to be hunted down among all of these suggestions.

  10. #10

    A shame you have dropped the BASC membership as this would have been your quickest route.

    Booking bisleys short Siberia range for zeroing with expanding ammo at 100 and 200 yards is really simple once you have your SSC which they could accommodate on one of their days at Bisley.

    altrnative is the British sporting rifle club is another good way to go about things and they have some great facilities such as running deer and boar targets which make it in along with a .22 range.

    Your third option would be to join the NRA direct and then ring the range office at Bisley to book a slot at 100yrds onshort Siberia and request a range officer attends to asses you for Your SSC.

    I attend Bisley a few times a year to test ome new ammo or before heading ona trip north.... Alternatively nd depending on our ground you could o some BASC zero on our ground if ou have a tubal and safe location with back top etc.

    Pm me direct if you'd like to discuss....


    Last edited by Robbo25; 14-09-2012 at 23:11.

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